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August 7, 2013

Back to School
Sales Tax Holiday Weekend; Safety Tips; Free Immunizations

Time for Back to School Shopping
Sales Tax Holiday Weekend August 9-11, 2013

It is important to making sure our kids are all prepared to start the year out right on the first day of school. Being prepared is key to having an optimal learning environment. Mayor Annise Parker wants all Houstonians to take advantage of this weekend's back-to-school tax-free shopping holiday to help ensure students are ready to learn. From clothing and shoes to school supplies, most products under $100 will not be taxed. Exceptions include anything bought by mail, online or by telephone.

Qualifying school supplies (if priced less than $100)

  • Binders
  • Book bags
  • Calculators
  • Cellophane tape
  • Blackboard chalk
  • Compasses
  • Composition books
  • Crayons
  • Erasers
  • Folders; expandable, pocket, plastic and manila
  • Glue, paste and paste sticks
  • Highlighters
  • Index cards
  • Index card boxes
  • Legal pads
  • Lunch boxes
  • Markers (including dry erase markers)
  • Notebooks
  • Paper; loose leaf ruled notebook paper, copy paper, graph paper, tracing paper, manila paper, colored paper, poster board and construction paper
  • Pencil boxes and other school supply boxes
  • Pencil sharpeners
  • Pencils
  • Pens
  • Protractors
  • Rulers
  • Scissors
  • Writing tablets

More information may be found on the Texas Comptroller's website,, including a full list of qualifying clothing, shoes and other items that will be tax exempt.

For questions email or call the Mayor's Citizens' Assistance Office at 832.393.0955.

Back to School Safety Tips

With students returning to school very soon, the Houston Police Department reminds all motorists to pay close attention when driving through school zones. Officers will be out in school zones enforcing the speed limits. Anytime you see a school bus, use extra caution since children may dart out into traffic either getting on or off the bus. For some of these children, it is their first time going to school and they may not be familiar with guidelines they should follow.

Motorists can receive significant fines for speeding through school zones or passing a school bus with flashing lights. Speeding citations in a school zone can result in a $220 fine.

Safety tips for children and parents include:

  1. Children should not talk to strangers. Advise children how to handle a situation in which someone attempts to lure them with prizes or tries to abduct them
  2. Teach children bicycle safety tips while riding to and from school
  3. Be aware of potential problems that can arise when children are home by themselves
  4. Whenever possible find qualified caregivers for before and after school care

For more "Back to School Safety Tips", visit

To learn more about HPD, visit

Free Childhood Immunization Extravaganza
Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Houston Fire Department (HFD) and the Care Van Program are teaming up again to provide Houston area children with free childhood immunizations for children 4 - 18 years whose families have no insurance, are underinsured or are on Medicaid. Children with CHIP (Children's Health Insurance Program) or private insurance will not be accepted.

Back-To-School Immunization Extravaganza Thursday, August 22, 2013 4 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. HFD Val Jahnke Training Facility 8030 Braniff Houston 77061 (just south of Hobby Airport) Important note: For each clinic, a parent or adult guardian must accompany the child(ren) and provide the updated immunization records for each child.

To download a printable copy of the 2013 Immunization Extravaganza that includes a map to the location, visit

For additional information visit, or contact HFD Public Affairs Division at or 832.394.6633.

Working smoke detectors save lives. It's just that simple. Test yours today!

Care Van Graphic Fire Dept Logo

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Council Members: Helena Brown • Jerry Davis • Ellen R. Cohen • Wanda Adams • Dave Martin • Al Hoang • Oliver Pennington • Edward Gonzalez • James G. Rodriguez • Mike Laster • Larry V. Green • Stephen C. Costello • Andrew C. Burks, Jr. • Melissa Noriega • C.O. “Brad” Bradford • Jack Christie
Controller: Ronald C. Green